Sunday, 29 April 2018

Yellow Wagtail & Little Gull

Date: 24th-29th April
Newton St. Loe, Slimbridge, Cheddar, Chew Valley & Barrow Tanks
Mostly grey overcast , cold wind
Species Highlights: 
Little Gull, Yellow Wagtail, Greenfinch, Reed Warbler, Black Swan.
Another round up I'm afraid not having much time to update in evenings of late, there is gonna be one more patch walk before we head off to sunny Rhodes Greece on the 3rd so this blog up to Sunday 29th.
Starting of back on Patch last Tuesday 24th, Up to dog track and my first Speckled Wood on this year, the butterflies our going slow so far this year with weather being cold and windy.

So imagine my surprise at seeing not 1 but 2 Painted Lady on the corner of Seven Acre in ploughed field, this one in middle of field only spotted while i was scanning across hedgerow. This is the first of year for the whole of Somerset! Also taking my total species count to 12, only 46 to go.

Skylark, Yellowhammers in normal spots but a highlight was 2 Red Legged Partridge scurrying across fields, year patch tick number 74, then a Common Whitethroat singing by trigpoint thats number 75. 
House Martins & Barn Swallow numbers starting to build Swift should be any day now. Plenty of Flowers around Primrose and Bluebells looking fab.

Down through village into Send a Cow wood with 8 Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaff but no Willow Warbler yet. Bottom lake Billy & Jenny still together but little else, top lake still very low with 2 Grey Herons on nests and the Mute pair also on nest. 
All Teal have gone maybe down to water level although in 2016 at the end of April until September the Teal also disappeared.

Greenfinch in yews couldn't here or see Hawfinch but a bonus I did spot for the first time ever these fantastic Snake's head Fritillary, well of the path and out of view so maybe wild?

The first time I've ever seen them, beautiful.

Next day a quick visit to Chew Valley and the Black Swan has returned to Herriots feeding happily with the Mutes.

Water level very high and lots of Swift, House Martin and Barn Swallow hawking over lake. 
Great Crested Grebe look stunning in breeding plumage.

Headed over to Villace hide not much from there but theses Early Purple Orchids with Primrose looked great in a sudden spell of sunshine.

Did spot this little Reed Warbler peeping out.

Also while sun was out this Orange Tip and its food source the Cuckoo flower.

Tried out the other hides and very little in front of hides, inside this Horseshoe Bat unfortunately dead was a highlight to see so close. On Lane in between hides I heard Garden Warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

 On the 26th a Glossy Ibis had be showing from Slimbridge so headed up, It had gone a hour before I'd got there, not much on show after i'd left a Tern showed up on South Lake too!

Coot & chicks feeding.

Cute...... not sure but amazing looking little chap.

A few Blackcaps we singing in the sunshine.

Her bum looks....

As sun was out headed down to Cheddar on way home for a look for Butterflies on Fry's hill a Green Hairstreak was best of that despite me looking for 2 hours up and down hill, too windy. A quick scan of cheddar couldn't find Little Gull so went home with 3 blanks! 

Lauren spotted 2 Greenfinch on feeders on saturday evening, we used to get 5/6.

Worked weekend and had a couple of hour so we went to Cheddar first for a revisit for the Little Gull, success.

Feeding distantly with 2 Black Headed Gull of the yacht club, along with hundreds of Sand Martins followed by Barn Swallow and a few House Martins. 

 Swallows and Sand Martins resting up around lake.
Lauren also got a shot of a Yellow Wagtail, She's lucky, i didn't see it!

Plan was to pop in to Barrow Tanks for a look for more Yellow Wagtails nothing on 3 so walked around 2, just about to give up and spotted this beauty along with 5 White Wagtails and 3 Pied.

Managed to creep up using the wall as cover, also on lake 5 Common Sandpipers

 So now up to date, hope to put another blog out before the 3rd May then a few from Rhodes if we see anything, finger crossed.

Thanks For Looking! 
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